Nature & ecology

Delve deeper into the animal and plant life we share our city with, plus look beyond our shores to ecosystems around the world and the environmental issues affecting our planet.

Read City Lit tutor Brenna Boyle's guide to London's diverse wildlife.

  1. Walking London's rivers

    Course Date: Sat 28 Jul 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    London’s rivers provide a wildlife highway into the city and support a huge array of life, from eels to kingfishers. The Thames has transformed since the 'great stink' of 1858, and is now one of the cleanest city rivers in the world. Come to this relaxed walking programme and explore the wildlife, ecology and history of London’s rivers. First session at City Lit, followed by three off-site walks of approximately two hours.
    Full fee: £79.00
    Senior fee: £63.00
    Concession: £40.00

  2. Discover birds of prey

    Course Date: Sun 5 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Find out all about birds of prey; their diversity across the world, ecology and behaviour. View zoological specimens. Dissect a pellet (dried regurgitated material) from a wild barn owl, identifying the bones within to ascertain the owl's diet.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £49.00
    Concession: £25.00

  3. Know your wild neighbours: an interactive workshop to identify the wildlife on your doorstep - bring your photos

    Course Date: Sun 12 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    London is a city with a diverse array of wild residents. In this fun and interactive workshop, we discover the plants and animals which live alongside us and the strategies they utilise for surviving in the city. Learn how to use keys and field guides to help identify London species. Bring along photos of plants or animals that you would like help identifying, or would just like to share with the group.
    Full fee: £29.00
    Senior fee: £23.00
    Concession: £15.00

  4. Trees of London

    Trees of London

    Course Date: Sat 13 Oct 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Would you like to know your ash from your elm, your plane from your maple? Learn key clues for identification in class followed by a gentle stroll round local gardens and squares to enjoy the rich diversity of introduced and native trees. A must for all tree lovers.
    Full fee: £139.00
    Senior fee: £111.00
    Concession: £61.00

  5. The social and sexual lives of the Great Apes – insights from biological anthropology

    Course Date: Fri 2 Nov 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore the sex lives and social and sexual strategies of the five living great apes: the orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and human beings. . Topics will range from the major evolutionary theories behind jealousy and cheating and heterosexual/homosexual/bisexual behaviour, to the hand-signals used by bonobos to indicate specific sexual positions.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £39.00

  6. City of London gardens: their history and botany

    Course Date: Mon 5 Nov 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Discover the delights of some small gardens in London's Square Mile, where rich planting enhances historic sites. Special trees are a highlight. Practical plant identification will be provided at City Lit in the morning, with a guided walk in the afternoon.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £22.00

  7. Introduction to botany

    Course Date: Sat 2 Feb 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    A practical course ideal for those who are new to the science of botany. Learn about the fundamental structure of plants and identify the functions of different components; recognise some of the classification systems of the plant world and assess why these magnificent organisms are essential for our wellbeing. Three Saturday sessions, mornings in the classroom, afternoons short local walks to see specimens outdoors. One visit to Kew on Thurs 22 February, library in the morning, garden in the afternoon ( fee may apply - tbc).
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £88.00

  8. Evolutionary origins of the great apes

    Course Date: Sat 16 Feb 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Today's apes are few in number but, millions of years ago, apes ruled the primate world. Discover why they were so successful and why they disappeared. Explore key topics in their evolution and find out about great apes around the world today. .
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £25.00

  9. An introduction to ornithology with birdwatching

    Course Date: Wed 1 May 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore the life of birds and learn about bird evolution, tips for identification and key behaviours before having a chance to put your skills into practice on two field trips in London (St James' Park and Hampstead Heath).

    Three sessions at City Lit and two off-site. All 14.00-16.00.



    Brenna Boyle (B.Sc Hons Dunelm, M.Sc DIC) is a zoologist, wildlife guide and environmental teacher. She runs Wild Capital; London's wildlife discovery service and also works for two urban environmental education charities.
    Full fee: £99.00
    Senior fee: £79.00
    Concession: £44.00

  10. Great botanists

    Course Date: Sat 1 Jun 2019
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    We will examine the lives and scientific contributions of key people in the history of botany and gardens, from the 16th to the 20th centuries: John Gerard, Philip Miller, John Fothergill, Humphry Repton, and Thomas Mawson. Five London-based visits included; one additional entrance fee £12 approx.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £100.00

  11. Walking London's woodlands

    Course Date: Fri 27 Jul 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore London’s diverse woodlands and discover the wildlife they contain on this relaxed natural history and walking course. First session at City Lit, followed by three off-site woodland walks.
    Full fee: £79.00
    Senior fee: £63.00
    Concession: £35.00

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